We decided that rather than wait until today to go on our usual Saturday walk with Heartbeat, we would enjoy one yesterday instead. After all the sun was shining even if it was giving off no heat whatsoever, the sky was blue, what more can a walker ask for? We donned our warm winter coats and hats and set off in great spirits. First stop down the hill was to chatter to a lady who was busy feeding the ponies in the field with wholemeal bread. She insisted that they loved it and I remarked that they were probably grateful for anything at all as the field in which they graze is more mud than grass at this time of year.
Then it was onward and upward up Catherine Slack where we could enjoy the view looking down onto Harrison’s Dairy farm below us. We spied a man walking quickly through the far field towards a huge fallen tree trunk where another man was waiting with a car. I surmised they were chopping and collecting firewood, but I could have been wrong. At the top of Catherine Slack, I spied some colourful yellow crocus’s peeping out of the grass verge just outside the entrance to some new houses which are just being erected.
We continued onwards, past the golf course and had a brief pause whilst I took a quick shot of one of my favourite houses. Its not easy to get a shot of it as the frontage is obscured by a very high privet, so the only gap where you can take a picture is over the wall at the side, and even then you need to be standing on tiptoe. I love old houses such as this one and note the lovely little lamp on top of the wall.
The next leg of the walk was through a narrow lane that runs behind the houses and which turned out to be quite muddy to negotiate. Mind you, most of the mud was frozen solid, but it took K all her time to walk from one end of the path to the other. She is never at her best on uneven surfaces despite all those walks she has done over the years. She heaved a sigh of relief once we joined the main road, and we both gathered pace towards some horses who were busy grazing in a nearby field further along the road.
Despite the fact that she loves horses, she’s still very wary of stroking them as you can plainly see in this photograph. He was quite a size I will admit, but he had made his way through acres of mud in order to greet us both at the wall and I was only sorry that we hadn’t any treats to give him.
Onward along the road and under the railway bridge to join the main road. The sky was an absolute unbroken blue by this stage of the day but the sun gave off no warmth at all. We had to stride out and keep moving in order to keep warm.
Unbeknown to me, at the time that K and I were taking a short breather before tackling the rest of the journey home, my brother was not far from this spot walking his dog Willam down Bottom Hall which runs alongside this churchyard. We must have missed one another by minutes. Onward across the road and down passed both the Comprehensive school, where several buses were parked patiently waiting to take pupils back to their respective localities. As we walked past, some pupils were playing a game of hockey and we could clearly hear the clash of sticks echoing through the cold winters air. We began recalling playing hockey when we were at school, and getting frequently whacked around the ankles during a match!
Onward past the newly built Cliffe Hill junior school with its rather unusual modern design a far cry from how it looked all those years ago when I attended! Past the farm and a last photo of the small stream (I’m sure it used to be much wider than it is today when I was a youngster!) back up the hill past the ponies and back along the lower estate road to our humble abode.
Coats and hats removed, shoes exchanged for comfy slippers and a nice hot cup of tea! That’s what life’s all about!